Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Entitlement rehearsals early days

Two days of rehearsals down.  I've heard this play in my head for a couple of months.  I've read it out loud to myself several times.  But now I listen while the actors work their way through my words, my characters.  I don't want it to be what I read to myself.  I want it to be BETTER than what I read to myself.  But I often don't recognize it when I hear it.  Is it the fault of my writing?  Do the actors not understand?  I fight panic.

David Ferry, the director, asks them to read a scene through, really to act the scene through verbally, without getting it on its feet.  And then they discuss.  Motivations of characters, plausibility, what's happened prior off stage, a thousand questions, and most of the time seeking the answers, not from me but from the text I've written.  Once in a while, I throw in a story that inspired a moment in the play to give them some context, but it's not really necessary other than to make my presence felt.  They seem to find their way to the same place eventually talking it through.

One of the actors finds it hard to be as self-centered as the character I've written.  It's not in his nature.  I worry, coming from film and TV, where performances are opening night-ready at the time of the audition and virtually no rehearsal before shooting.  It will take time for the actor to bring that aspect of himself or find that in someone else so he can be the character I've written.  David isn't worried.  He reassures me that it's early days.  I realize that I also have my work cut out for me as I'm producing this piece and I need to raise some money, find some essential props without too much of my own money.  I fight panic.

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